PTSD is a complex mental health condition that can lead to feelings of depression, anxiety, fear, anger, and irritability. One common way people with this condition try to cope is through emotional avoidance. However, this is not the answer.
Emotional Avoidance Through Substance Abuse
Drugs and alcohol provide a temporary escape from difficult feelings, which is why substance abuse is so attractive to Veterans with PTSD. What starts as one drink after dinner to relax or accepting pills from a friend to try to sleep better can quickly become a full-blown addiction.
Abusing drugs and alcohol only leads to additional health problems and strains relationships with the people around you. When you don’t have a strong support system in place and your physical health is deteriorating, dealing with PTSD becomes even more challenging.
Emotional Avoidance Through Disassociation
Dissociation refers to coping with feelings related to PTSD through self-distancing and numbing. Someone who is using dissociation as a coping mechanism often reports feeling as though they are not real or the world around them is not real. They may experience extended periods of daydreaming or blanking out where they are unable to recall events that have happened.
Dissociation can lead to unhealthy behaviors such as gambling, eating disorders, self-harm, or sex or pornography addiction as a coping mechanism to avoid feelings a Veteran believes are simply too painful to deal with. Feelings of disconnection can also create problems at work or in personal relationships.
Getting the Treatment You Need to Move Forward
Emotional avoidance, whether through substance abuse or disassociation, only serves to further limit your daily experience. Getting access to evidence-based treatment is the best way to get your PTSD under control so you can focus on maintaining relationships with loved ones and making the most of each day.
PTSD is a serious mental health disorder that should not be confused with ordinary combat stress. You can receive VA disability benefits if you have been diagnosed by a qualified healthcare provider, you can provide an account of the service-connected event that triggered your PTSD, and your psychologist or psychiatrist will testify that your service-related stressor was significant enough to result in PTSD. If you are approved for benefits, you gain access to medical care as well as monthly cash compensation.
Contact the office of Sean Kendall, Attorney-at-Law, today to discuss how we can help you access the benefits you need and deserve. A free, no-obligation consultation is the first step towards a brighter future.